When Hope Grows Weary Treating Hopelessness in Older Adults

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Daniella Spencer-Laitt
Amanda Weiss


Hopelessness is associated with suicidal ideation and completion, poor physical health, and poor quality of life, and is an important and little-discussed dimension of the experience of older adults. However, hopelessness is not an inevitable part of the aging process. The present paper analyzes the construct of hopelessness specifically in the context of the aging population, discusses measuring and treating hopelessness, and makes recommendations, based on existing models of care, for how targeted services can be created to address this problem.

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Spencer-Laitt, D., & Weiss, A. (2020). When Hope Grows Weary: Treating Hopelessness in Older Adults. Columbia Social Work Review, 18(1), 51–69. https://doi.org/10.7916/cswr.v18i1.5929